Welcome to the website for CAMRA Scotland & Northern Ireland Branches
A Message from Ray Turpie - Scotland and Northern Ireland Director
It is hard to believe it is almost a year since we celebrated the 40th anniversary of Scottish Branches at a well attended reunion in Callum’s, Johnstone. We also took the opportunity to present the Dan Kane Quaich to Derek Moore of Kelburn Brewery for Dark Moor, the 2014 Champion Beer of Scotland (CBOS).
The Scottish and Northern Ireland Pub of the Year (SNIPOTY) for 2014 was the Steam Packet Inn, Isle of Whithorn which goes from strength to strength. Alistair Scoular has recently opened a micro-brewery at the rear of the pub called the Five Kingdoms Brewery. It is claimed you can see five kingdoms from the car park on a good day.
Following some in-depth research since our 40th Anniversary booklet “Cheers” was produced, the number of breweries in Scotland has now gone up from 82 to over 110! Progress is also being made in Northern Ireland on this front. I was pleased to see that the publication was commended at the National Conference in Nottingham. Thank you all who contributed to the success.
One of my first tasks as SNID was to organise a Super Regional Conference for the north of the country. Very few suitable venues were suggested so I put a pin in the map on Troon and drew a 200 mile radius which I thought might be reasonable for members to travel. This almost takes in Inverness, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Carlisle and Belfast. It was reasonably well attended in November and was in the top half of satisfaction statistics produced after all the events took place.
Towards the end of the year, campaign gains were made with the introduction of a pub adjudicator for England and Wales and a market free option for tied pub tenants. A meeting was held early in the New Year to persuade the Scottish Government to adopt similar legislation but it took until May to secure a commitment from Fergus Ewing to agree to a review of the tied pub situation in Scotland. We will keep up the pressure on the run up to the election.
Following the General Election, I attended a CAMRA reception in London for all the new MPs at Westminster. A handful of Scottish MPs attended so I was able to make them aware of our campaign aims. Unfortunately no MPs turned up from Northern Ireland which goes to show how difficult a job it is for members from over the water to make progress in this direction.
More pressing at the moment is the campaign to alleviate the effect of the reduction in the Drink Driving (DD) limits on rural pubs. I have raised this nationally and am hopeful of funds being made available to SNIB although I consider this a national problem. Both campaigns were highlighted at the Parliamentry Reception in Holyrood in June. Two members from Northern Ireland joined us to observe proceedings as they wish the same for Stormont.
In the spring, our new Chief Executive, Tim Page, visited both Scotland and Northern Ireland and I managed to arrange meetings with many members from different areas. I think they appreciated the effort he made. We had interesting meetings in Kilmarnock and Belfast to discuss local problems. We even managed to attend the Glenrothes Beer Festival on set-up day which Tim thoroughly enjoyed, going home with a tee shirt for helping out.
I have managed to visit all our SNIB beer festivals at some point to support the great effort made by volunteers. This is very much appreciated and surpluses raised help to keep the campaign moving forward. Similarly, branch officials do a tremendous amount of work and I try to attend all branch AGMs but inevitably, for some I am double booked and arrange a delegated SNIB Officer to substitute.
This brings me full circle as I prepare to spend a week at the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) in London. I have arranged a few meetings there, in between pulling pints, to press the issues which concern SNIB members. Let us all raise a full pint of real ale in September to the next 40 years.
Ray Turpie (SNID)
The aims of the Campaign for Real Ale - CAMRA are:
To protect and improve consumer rights.
To promote quality, choice and value for money.
To support the public house as a focus of community life.
To campaign for greater appreciation of traditional beers, ciders and perries as part of our national heritage and culture.
To seek improvements in all licensed premises and throughout the brewing industry
CAMRA is a non-profit, consumer organistion with173664 members. The aim of this website is to act as a portal for all eleven CAMRA branches located in Scotland and Northern Ireland. With over 200 local CAMRA branches throughout the UK, CAMRA Scotland and Northern Ireland Branches (SNIB) is one of 16 regional areas and represents a steadily increasing membership in excess of 5000.
Champion Beer of Scotland 2015
Cairgorm Black Gold was declared CAMRA's Champion Beer of Scotland Competition after a blind tasting at the Scottish Real Ale Festival in Edinburgh's Corn Exchange on Thursday 9th July.
The full result was as follows:
Cairngorm Black Gold
Highland Brewing Scapa Special
Cromarty Red Rocker
Scotland & Northern Ireland Pub of the Year 2015
We are delighted to announce that the the Stockbridge Tap in Edinburgh has been named Scotland & Northern Ireland Pub of the Year for 2015.
Scotland & Northern Ireland Branches (SNIB) Meeting
The next SNIB meeting is on Saturday 28th November starting at 1300. It will hosted by Forth Valley CAMRA in the Station Hotel, Larbert. All members are invited to attend.